Batman Av 1950'sBatman Ave 2010Princes Bridge 2010Princes Bridge 1950'sThe Yarra 2010The Yarra 1950'sThe Yarra 2010The Yarra 1950'sSouthbank Footbridge BeforeSouthbank Footbridge AfterSandridge Bridge, 1950'sSandridge Bridge 2010Queens BridgeQueens Bridge 2010Queens Bridge 1920Queens Bridge 2010Wharf from Bridge 1920Wharf from Bridge 2010Turning Basin 1905Turning Basin 2010The Yarra 1904The Yarra 2010Derelict Barge 1950'sBarge Location 2010South Wharf 1970'sSouth Wharf 2010South Wharf 1970'sSouth Wharf 2010Spencer St BridgeSpencer St Bridge 2010Spencer St Bridge 2010South Wharf 1970South Wharf 2010South Wharf 1970'sSouth Wharf 2010Aerial of Yarra 1935Aerial of Yarra 1970's


Transforming the Yarra is a multimedia walking tour celebrating the development of Melbourne’s Yarra River precinct since the 1980s from a post industrial wasteland to the centre of Melbourne’s public life.

In the early 1980s, Cain Government’s Planning and Environment Minister, Professor, The Honourable Evan Walker AO and his departmental secretary Professor David Yencken AO had a bold vision to restore the river as Melbourne’s central focus. Their plan saw the development of the South Bank and set out the strategy for landscaped promenades lined by public buildings, restaurants and open spaces filled with art.

Through the application of enlightened urban design and architectural principles, a precinct that was once dour and industrialised has become a lively, people-centred area. Importantly, the original visions of these planners, architects and designers continue to be developed through new public projects such as Federation Square, Birrarung Marr and South Wharf, which build on the cultural vitality of the area.

The walking tour tells the story of how these visionaries realised the potential of the Yarra River corridor and revitalised it as a hub for recreation and culture. Transforming the Yarra features interviews with the designers, public servants, and politicians who established a new vision for the river and carried it forward during the last 30 years. Download Transforming the Yarra as either an iPhone application or an MP3 podcast here.

Transforming the Yarra has also been developed a resource for Victorian schools in the areas of humanities, history, geography, art, communications and civics. More information and notes for teachers are available here.

  • Arts Victoria
  • Federation Square
  • State of Design
  • City Of Melbourne
  • Major Projects Victoria
  • Victorian Government Architect
  • DPC
  • Victoria